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DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SHARING PRACTICES AMONG TRADO-MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS IN IJEBU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE, NIGERIA
- Background to the Study
The indigenous individuals of the world have a massive learning of their condition, in light of hundreds of years of living near nature. Living in and from the wealth and assortment of complex biological systems, they have a comprehension of the properties of plants and creatures, the working of environments and the procedures for utilizing and overseeing them. In rural communities and developing countries, local species are relied on for many purposes which could be food, medicine, fuel, building materials and other products. Indigenous knowledge deals with the realities that are known or gained for a fact or obtained through perception and contemplate and passed on from era to era (Adegboyega, 2001).
The prevalence of indigenous knowledge among local communities is attributed to knowledge of traditional medicine which can be referred to as finish information procured through learning, knowledge and perception, to cater for their health status, by and large in rustic regions, who have broadened histories of connection with the regular habitat. This association sets understandings, elucidations and implications that are a piece of a social complex. According to World Health Organization (WHO, 2011) customary prescription manages the different issues like prosperity practices, systems, learning, and feelings joining plant, animal, or conceivably mineral-based medications; significant medicines; manual techniques; and exercises, associated independently or in blend to keep up success, and notwithstanding treat, investigate disease.
Learning of conventional medication is that part of indigenous information of individuals in nearby groups which identifies with the utilization of plants and other characteristic assets in the treatment of wellbeing related conditions without the need of professional health practitioners (Sithole, 2007). From time past, plants and its partnered items has been utilized as a part of the treatment of different afflictions everywhere throughout the world particularly in nearby groups in creating nations. Customary medication learning starts with the investigation of neighborhood plants species to distinguish consumable, therapeutic and toxic ones. Plant frames the primary elements of prescription in conventional arrangement of mending and has been the wellspring of motivation for a few noteworthy pharmaceutical medications.
Most people living in the rural communities in Nigeria today prefer the use of traditional medicine, reason being that some community people lack access to modern health facilities due to the cost implication or nearness to home. Even though there has been a rise in modern medical facilities and increase in their health care Centre is fast growing, it is still not adequate for everyone in local communities to access. Oladele and Adewunmi (2008) reported that almost all Nigerians in local communities make use of traditional medicine, as a result of this, the situation might continue to be like that in future due to the high cost of orthodox medicine. Indigenous medical knowledge is not just an inherited idea; it is learned, shared and preserved from generation to generation for future benefits of the younger and older generation. Effort is been made by trado-medical practitioners to spread, preserve and share indigenous medical knowledge as quickly as possible to empower the younger generations on the usefulness of these knowledge (MacDonald, 2012). Hence, Bonsi, (2012) avowed that the professionals, watchmen and teachers of such learning, the demise of key senior citizens, especially ladies, and the subsequent “annihilation” of their collective intelligence, shows a genuine imperative to the long haul survival of indigenous information.
According to Schwartz (2006), knowledge sharing deals with the exchange of knowledge between individuals, departments, and the institution at large. This trade may now and then be engaged or unfocused, yet it more often than not does not have an unmistakable arrangement of target. Henceforth, it could be a trade of learning between two people: one who imparts information and one who absorbs it. In knowledge sharing, the aim is on personal attributes, creativity, habits of humans. However, formal education systems brought about better approaches for learning, supplanting them with theoretical information and scholarly methods for learning. And this new ways of academic learning has disturbed the commonsense regular day to day existence parts of indigenous information. Too many pieces of information are made available through various digital technology media like social media, web 2.0, blog, web and mobile applications, mobile phone, laptop and much more. These devices are mostly used with modern language, thereby discouraging indigenous language use or at least to a large extent minimum recognition has been given to learning and transferring of indigenous knowledge over these devices.
Traditional medicine knowledge is not all about knowledge of plant use or what illness its used to treat but to identify the exact and actual healing process to apply. Trado-medical practitioners are traditional health healers or traditional medicine producers of herbs, and leaves for the healing and care of the local people who believe in their medicine. It was revealed in research that 97% of the skills of traditional healers were acquired from their fathers, grandfathers or both. Meanwhile, 36% of them had learnt from their mothers, grandmothers or both and 42% do acquire their traditional healing skills from other sources like divination, experience, practice, inspiration, and dreams (Bagozzi, 2002). The role of trado-medical practitioners includes maintenance of good health, treatment of different kinds of diseases, counteractive action and administration of illnesses like intestinal sickness, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, among others (WHO, 2005). Some notable factors that have been consistently noticed among trado-medical practitioners is still the fact that majority of them do not have formal education knowledge, they are more of traditional worshipers, most of them start at a tender age of about 15years, they are more of male than female and their educational qualification is more of primary and secondary (Helwig, 2005).
The demographic characteristics of the traditional medical practitioners (such as age, educational background, income, gender, ethnic background, experience etc) actually determine their performance level, enhance their knowledge sharing, and improve the indigenous knowledge preservation means and lots more. Ogunyemi (2007) reported in his study that age, educational background, marital status, number of children, location and experience were some of the demographic characteristics of trado-medical practitioners that really affects indigenous knowledge sharing practices within communities in Nigeria. Working experience of trado-medical practitioners helps them to gather resources needed for better performance on their job and to ensure better knowledge sharing in a more practical way to the next generation. While the marital status of trado-medical practitioners is one of the factors that enable them take time to educate young generation about the need to preserve indigenous knowledge (Ogunyemi, 2007). The age factor of trado-medical practitioners symbolizes maturity and experience in the practice, the more aged one is in the practice, the more the need to share indigenous knowledge to the younger generation for posterity. Religion as a factor has a relatively positive or negative role in sharing of indigenous knowledge. Some religions does not encourage traditional practice and as such consider it fetish. Meanwhile, formal education role to enhance knowledge sharing is essentially significant in this study with the available of new technologies that enable sharing practices a reality such as social media, web 2.0, flash drive, CD, PowerPoint presentation, email, computer and other sharing devices at their disposal (European Patent Office, 2011)
Out of the mentioned demographic factors, formal education is one of the highly identified variables that affect the dissemination and transfer of indigenous knowledge among trado-medical practitioners in rural communities in Nigeria. This was made clear in the study of Akintilo (2009), that the educational impact of indigenous knowledge transfer is highly appreciated due to proper communication and is been done from the elders to the younger generation on the importance of some particular traditional plants and vegetables. The uses of these plants were properly communicated to the younger generation in Ibadan area of Nigeria. The success factor as identified by the researcher is the help of elders who understood the local dialect and was able to communicate to the younger generation to pass on to its offspring.
It is pertinent to assert that older folks are thought to be the real caretakers of this learning (traditional medical knowledge) which was passed on to them by their progenitors, and they are thus anticipated that would pass it on to others through various demographic factors as deem appropriate for them (Owuor, 2007). The preservation of indigenous knowledge is all about how it is been transmitted. According to Cavalli-Sforza and Feldman (2008), transmission comes in three ways, which are; vertical, horizontal and oblique. Vertical transmission is one from parents to children, horizontal transmission is among people of the same generation and oblique transmission is from people of one generation to unrelated individuals of the next generation (Hewlett & Cavalli-Sforza, 2011). The study revealed that one of the pronounced demographic factors that enhance knowledge sharing is vertical transmission (parent to child) which is a better mechanism used for the transmission of indigenous knowledge, and this accounts for 80% of the cases studied.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Indigenous knowledge is a critical part in the way of life of the individuals from the nearby group and henceforth a basic asset for any human advancement handle. This is due to the fact that they frame the reason for choices relating to sustenance security, human and creature, wellbeing, instruction, characteristic asset administration and other essential exercises. However, literature established that one of the basic issues with indigenous knowledge is that it is not written and exists in the mind of people of the rural community and where the conveyer of the knowledge is unable to share such knowledge effectively it might not be preserved of which may be lost forever. Also, the death of key elders, guardians and educators of indigenous knowledge presents a genuine limitation to the long haul survival of indigenous learning. This is the more reason indigenous knowledge should be transferred especially the traditional medicine for posterity. This is the more reason why indigenous knowledge should be preserved and shared for future generation. Furthermore, in literature, there is little or no evidence that shows that extensive research have been carried out on how demographic characteristics influence the spread of indigenous knowledge sharing of traditional medicines in rural areas of Ogun State. Based on the foregoing, the present study seeks to uncover demographic and indigenous knowledge sharing practices among Trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government Area, Ogun State.
- Objective of the Study
The main objective of the study is to investigate demographic characteristics and indigenous knowledge sharing practices among trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government area. The specific objectives are to:
- identify types of indigenous knowledge practiced among trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government Area;
- find out the demographic characteristics of trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North local Government;
- determine knowledge sharing practices of trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government Area;
- identify the factors that enhance indigenous knowledge sharing practices among trado-medical practitioners;
- find out the relationship that exist between demographic characteristics of trado-medical practitioners and indigenous knowledge sharing practice in Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State;
- find out challenges encountered by trado-medical practitioners when sharing indigenous knowledge and
- determine the relative contribution of demographic characteristics to indigenous knowledge sharing practices
- Research Questions
The following research questions were used for the study
- What types of indigenous knowledge are practiced among Trado-medical practitioners of Ijebu North Local Government Area?
- What are the demographic characteristics of trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North local Government?
- How is indigenous knowledge shared among trado-medical practitioners in Ijebu North Local Government area?
- What factors enhance indigenous knowledge sharing practices among trado-medical practitioners?
- What are the challenges encountered by trado-medical practitioners while sharing indigenous knowledge?